On the Road Again

October 15th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, it’a nice Willie Nelson song. But, long distance auto travel is not a delight. Toby, The Wonder Dog, is a pleasant traveler, only demanding many cuddles. BSK does all of the driving. Does not trust HG behind the wheel. Silly BSK. First leg of journey from PEI to New Mexico was to Augusta, Maine and the Senator Hotel. Mediocre seafood meal. Not a credit to Maine. Then, a few days with family Riva in Riverside, RI. Daughter Lesley R. welcomed HG/BSK with chicken shawarma and muhammara, an extraordinary Armenian condiment (pepper and walnut), that lifted the dish to the skies. Midday meal was at Hemenway’s, the very good, Providence seafood restaurant. Oysters, clams, shrimp, lobster, Rhode Island clam chowder and sub-par fried calamari with hot peppers (What happened?). Dessert was a creme brûlée that rivaled anything in Paris. Once HG/BSK hit the midwest, horrors began: Nasty pizza in western Pennsylvania. Ludicrous parody of Chinese food in Illinois. Japanese (are you kidding me?) takeout in Oklahoma. HG did not follow Saul Sternberg’s advice: “If you want to eat well in the midwest, eat breakfast three times a day,” Next time, HG/BSK will concentrate their dining on reliable Waffle House.

OishiGevalt.com

September 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

SJ has long had thousands of Facebook followers for his brilliant “SadChairs” instagram account and blog. In various forums he has written penetrating political and cultural insights plus, SJ is noted expert in everything about reggae music, reggae events, vintage records, Jamaica, etc. The consummate New Yorker/Brooklynite has moved (with family) to Tokyo. SJ has an affinity for big cities so it is no surprise that SJ is falling in love with Tokyo. SJ is reporting on Tokyo’s food, culture, regional distinctiveness in SJ’s just launched blog, OishiGevalt.com. If you ever plan on visiting Tokyo, Oishi Gevalt is essential reading. The blog will also bring pleasure to all who are interested in food and brilliant, evocative writing. OG surpasses HG. Makes HG proud. HG is also pleased that SJ continues to edit and illustrate hungrygerald.com. And, happily, SJ is discovering many gloomy chairs in Tokyo.

Restaurant Nostalgia.

September 12th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Examining HG’s archives, HG notes that HG’s followers respond, with passionate nostalgia, to HG’s memories of long closed New York restaurants. Number one in the nostalgia parade is Christ Cella, the great steak house on E. 44th street. Scores of readers have sent in comments recalling romantic dinners there, happy meals with fathers and family members who worked there. Yes, CC didn’t do fancy frills. Superb products treated simply and with respect. Number two: Luchow’s, the outstanding German restaurant on E. 14th Street. Gorgeous antique decor. Oompah music. Succulent food. Wonderful beer. Number three: Gage & Tollner, the venerable seafood (and mutton chop restaurant) on Fulton Avenue, downtown Brooklyn. Sautéed clam bellies. Shad and shad roe with bacon. Dignified African-American waiters. Surprisingly, few HG fans recall two Upper West Side restaurants frequented by HG: Famous Dairy on W/. 72nd Street and Gitlitz delicatessen on Broadway and W. 79th. Nobody seems to remember the splendid Chinese restaurants clustered around Broadway and W. 96th Street. Most were on the west side of Broadway, but on the east side an eatery introduced fiery Szechauan fare to New York.

Pho Geddabout It

September 5th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG loves pho (pronounced “fuh”), the hearty and heartening Vietnamese noodle soup. One of the few happy memories the American troops brought back from the costly (in dollars and lives) Vietnam war was the pho they happily ate at sidewalk stalls in Saigon. In Santa Fe, HG devours very good pho at Saigon Cafe. There’s good pho at Pho Hung Restaurant in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. However, this is a 40 minute drive from HG’s oceanfront paradise. Thus, HG improvises a non traditional pho — in fact it is more of a “pho inspired” dish — for HG’s mid day meal. HG creates a broth of clam juice and water. When boiling, HG throws in some frozen “fish tofu.” These are fish shaped fried tofu. Interesting. Then, at the appropriate time, HG adds rice noodles and firm tofu (which turns silky as it cooks). When poured into a big bowl, HG adds sesame oil and fiery chile oil. Finishes it with chopped scallions. It might not be Saigon (or Santa Fe), but it’s mighty good.

Summer Kitchen

August 30th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HOORAY !!! The only thing lacking on Prince Edward Island has been a first rate Chinese restaurant. (There’s a good Indian restaurant and fine Vietnamese dining. Charlottetown has a joyous pizza joint and, of course, eateries that make the most of PEI’s natural bounty of farm fresh produce, oysters, lobster, fish and clams). And now there’s Summer Kitchen. (Name does not refer to a season but the restaurant’s location on Charlottetown’s Summer Street). Only open for two weeks, Summer Kitchen is a bright, meticulously clean place. The service is warm and helpful. Run by an endearing Asian couple, the food is extraordinary. HG/BSK dined there a few days ago. Starters surpassed anything found in New York’s dim sum palaces. Filipino Lumpia (spring rolls) had greaseless super crisp exteriors and juicy interiors of chopped vegetables. Lumpia are a favorite street vendor snack throughout the Philippines and Indonesia. Pan fried dumplings had thin skins and browned surfaces. Wood ear mushroom gave the pork fillings an extra flavor boost. Mains (served with a bowl of fluffy rice) were a braise of sliced Japanese eggplant and mapo tofu. Both were fresh and flavorful. HGBSK will be back to try the other good things on the menu.

Shandeh

August 23rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

“Shandeh” is a Yiddish word defining a shameful or despicable act. At the trial of “The Chicago Seven” for inciting to riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention, defendant Abbie Hoffman (anti-Vietnam activist and provocateur), shouted at presiding Judge Julius Hoffman who was Jewish, but no relation to Abbie: “You are a shandeh fur de goyim.” A disgrace in front of the gentiles. Today, this applies to Mnuchin, Kushner and every other Jewish Trump administration official and campaign financier in view of Der Trumperer’s remarks about Nazis/White Supremacists.

Historic Blindness

August 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Americans will not acknowledge their history. The United States is guilty of two great crimes against humanity: The virtual genocide of Native Americans. And the centuries of abominable chattel slavery. (On a much lesser scale are the destructive, useless Vietnam and Iraq wars). Thousands of Africans died battling slavers. More died as they were branded and kept in African captivity as they awaited “the middle journey.” Thousands more died as they were locked below decks in unspeakable conditions. And, then there was slavery. Lee and the other “heroes” of the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery. The confederate flag is as much a symbol of murderous inhumanity as the swastika. Any African-American seeing Confederate flags and Confederate statues would have the same feelings as a Jew gazing at a swastika or a Hitler statue. Yes, Germany is not perfect. But, it has acknowledged its modern history. Statues of Hitler cannot be found in that land. Back here, in the temporarily land of the brave and free, Der Trumperer is concerned that tearing down racist statues will mar the beauty of cities.

Alt Left?

August 16th, 2017 § 4 comments § permalink

So, the piece of garbage that calls itself POTUS believes that those who battle violent Nazis are members of the”alt left.” That means the millions of Americans who fought the Nazis, violently and to the death, during WWII were members of the “alt left.” As was the French resistance and all other resistance / partisan groups during World War Two. My late father-in-law, Roy Kent, an RCAF bomber pilot, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and many other decorations for his exploits against the Nazis, would be startled. When he arrived in Britain his aerial skills were recognized and it was suggested that he be a trainer. His reply: “I didn’t travel 4,000 miles to be a teacher. I came here to kill Nazis.” He demanded bomber raids he would pilot even though the base log book indicated that no bomber crew had ever survived their tour of duty. A true member of the “alt left. (He’s on the right in this wartime London photo. His younger brother, Eric, who spent seven years as an artilleryman, is on the left.).

Vile Trump

August 13th, 2017 § 1 comment § permalink

There is no limit to the sheer piggishness of Der Trumperer. The latest, of course, is his equating violent Nazi haters of African-Americans, Jews and immigrants with those who protest their actions. It’s like that old joke about equal coverage by TV news. First there is footage of hundreds of dead Jews who perished in the Auschwitz gas chambers. Then the newscaster says: “And now for the Nazi point of view..”

Roadies

June 6th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Like the Willie Nelson tune, HG/BSK are “On The Road Again.” Destination: Prince Edward Island Island and HG/BSK’s oceanfront home. It will be a delight to be back in Canada, a democracy with an enlightened leader. First stop on the trip was Amarillo, Texas, and Tyler’s BBQ for splendid sliced brisket, dry rubbed ribs, pulled pork, cole slaw, beans and pickles. Lots of icy pink lemonade. Tyler’s is a visit to down home America, warm, honest and tasty. Next leg of trip was to St. Louis and then on to Youngstown, Ohio. Stayed in two La Quintas and a Holiday Express, all dog friendly and welcoming for Toby, The Wonder Dog, HG/BSK’s travel companion. Yes, America has some frightening flaws but two things the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave does superlatively: Tyler’s Barbecue. Chain motels. (Great beds, TV,sparkling bathrooms, free wi-fi, plenty of hot water and ice, efficient toilets,free breakfast, modest prices). Had to make time so didn’t stop at eateries like Sawadee Thai in Rolla, Mo. or Shapiro’s Jewish Deli, Indianapolis. Opted for quick meals at Waffle House. No complaints. Big bowls of buttery grits with perfect poached eggs; softly scrambled eggs with onion topped home fries. Waffles, of course. Reminded HG of artist Saul Steinberg’s advice: “If you want to eat well in the midwest of the USA, eat breakfast three times a day.” Arrived at the Riva home in Riverside, R.I., after a struggle with Connecticut Friday night traffic jams. Brilliant (and beautiful) granddaughter Arianna was there to welcome the hungry duo with San Daniele prosciutto, crisp bread sticks, bowls of steaming chicken broth with tortellini. Warm and comforting finale to the days on the road.